Female colonel becomes first base commander for Camp Lejeune

23 Jan 2006 | Lance Cpl. Brandon R. Holgersen

Colonel Adele E. Hodges will become the first female colonel to command Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Jan. 23, replacing Maj. Gen. Robert C. Dickerson who was appointed the commander of Marine Corps Installations-East.

“I am very excited,” said Hodges. “It’s a large base and a large facility, and I am excited to be the first colonel assigned to this challenge.”

Hodges plans on upholding Camp Lejeune’s superb reputation and keeping and building on the relationship the base has with the local community.

“I want to keep the base as a viable part of the community and the Marine Corps following in the outstanding footsteps of my predecessor,” said Hodges.

Hodges plans on continuing the safety policies and wants to maintain and improve the morale of families and service members stationed here.

Camp Lejeune is one of Hodges’ favorite bases along with Camp Pendleton because they are big beautiful bases, which are much more beautiful than bases of the other services.

“I can’t help it, but I get a charge when I am surrounded by Marines,” Hodges said. 

Hodges’ previous duty station was in Stavanger, Norway, working at the Norwegian Join National Headquarters installations called Jatta, before coming here. This is her fourth time being stationed at Camp Lejeune.

“Norway was beautiful, the base was extremely small, the job was good, the people were nice, but I’m happy to be with the Marine Corps again,” Hodges said. “Living and working in an international community was a great experience.”

Hodges never thought when she joined the Marine Corps in 1978 she would be commanding an installation.

“My only aspiration when I first joined the Corps was to be the best Marine I could be for four years,” Hodges said. “Even after I was commissioned, the thought of commanding Camp Lejeune, or any other installation, was something I thought could never happen to me.”

Hodges was not always an officer. She started here career as a supply administrative clerk, received her commission and went back to supply school to become a supply officer.  During her first tour, her administrative chief convinced her to apply for the Enlisted Commissioning Program when he found out she had a bachelor’s degree and credit towards here master’s degree.